Sean Payton on Michael Thomas injury: ‘This isn’t anything he can control’

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Michael Thomas shared the tough news that he won’t play in 2021 on Wednesday, and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton wants it known that he’s in his corner. He addressed the situation during his weekly media availability session prior to the Saints’ practice session.

“This isn’t anything he can control, the setback was more to do with the procedure he had,” Payton said, referring to the tightrope procedure Thomas underwent in June. He added: “He’s working his tail off.”

Thomas began running and cutting in practice in recent weeks, but he continued to feel pain in his surgically-repaired ankle. After visiting a specialist and receiving scans, they saw enough complications from his prior surgery to raise concerns about another procedure to clean it up.

It’s a really tough break for all involved. The Saints were banking on Thomas returning to elevate a receiving corps that might be the worst in the NFL. Thomas was hoping to reassert himself as one of the biggest playmakers in the game. Now he’s losing another season to an injury he suffered a year ago. It’s frustrating, but Payton is doing his part to put out a united front. Maybe Thomas and the Saints are finally on the same page.